Skip navigation

We are hiring. Training available. Great benefits. Apply Now

Serving the Greater Lansing & Grand Rapids Areas


A-1 Mechanical Blog

Why Is My Air Conditioner Making Noises?

Air Conditioning

Home AC compressor noises are concerning to any Grand Rapids, MI, area homeowners who experience this sudden and unexpected disturbance. A little noise from your outdoor air conditioning unit is normal as it runs, but beyond this steady, typical operating noise, certain sounds are indicators of problems within your cooling system.

A-1 Mechanical’s cooling professionals explain the different types of air conditioner compressor noises that point to malfunction. If you notice any of the sounds below from your cooling system this summer, please contact us right away to schedule an air conditioner repair visit.

What Air Conditioner Noises Mean Potential Trouble?

Most homeowners are familiar with the hum of their air conditioner’s cycling. Any sounds that are new and interrupt that usual drone are signs of potential system trouble, and the type of sound is a clue as to what could be malfunctioning within the cooling system.

Here are the different types of noises that you may hear and what they mean:

1. Banging, Rattling or Clunking

Banging, rattling or clunking noises that occur when the cooling system runs often indicate loose parts. If a bolt comes loose, the compressor isn’t held firmly into place and produces such sounds due to movement. Tightening the connection is the first step in eliminating the noise, if applicable.

Loose connecting rods, pistons or other components move around during operation and produce the air conditioner compressor noise you hear during a cooling cycle. Compressor replacement is often recommended to correct this issue. Due to the assembly of this vital component, it’s usually easier to replace the compressor than attempt to repair the loose internal component.

2. Clicking

A clicking noise is usually caused by some sort of obstruction. Branches and other outdoor debris that fall into the unit cause such a sound as they prevent internal components from functioning properly. These items can damage internal components, causing them to produce an unusual noise while the system runs, such as the compressor fan blades striking against a bent fan screen as they rotate.

Debris must be removed, and any damaged components inside the condenser unit repaired. Exterior components of the unit may have sustained damage due to falling debris, which also require repair. Component replacement may be necessary if a part is damaged beyond repair.

Another issue that causes a clicking noise is a malfunctioning relay or control within the exterior unit. Controls and relays are tested to determine performance problems and then repaired or replaced to restore function and eliminate the clicking noise you hear from your outdoor air conditioning unit.

3. Hissing

Is your air conditioner making high pitched hissing noises? It could be an indication of two different yet serious issues. Other AC noises that often occur along with hissing provide a clue as to the source of the problem.

  • Hissing and bubbling are indicative of a refrigerant leak within the outdoor unit. Technicians inspect the system to locate the leak and perform repairs to seal the line, which eliminates the hissing and bubbling caused by escaping refrigerant and pressure.
  • Hissing, along with a screaming noise from the outdoor unit, point to a dangerous buildup of pressure. Turn your air conditioner off right away if you hear these sounds and do not use the system again until repairs are completed. High-pressure buildup within an AC compressor is often caused by a leaking or damaged thermostatic expansion valve or other valve in the compressor’s fan motor. The compressor’s high-pressure sensor may also be broken if it fails to shut down the system when high pressure is present.

A-1 Mechanical Ends Home Air Conditioning Compressor Noises Fast

If you notice that your air conditioner is making a noise that isn’t typical this summer season, make sure to call A-1 Mechanical to schedule an air conditioning repair appointment right away. Our technicians are available around the clock to quickly perform repairs to malfunctioning components, eliminating the disturbance and restoring the proper function of your cooling system’s vital parts.

Comments are closed.